Thursday, 20 June 2013

The re-race and World Cup leader!

I'm now up to Race 9 in my 3 weeks of racing. Fairly intensive but fortunately I have the fitness to deal with it. Prior to todays race I was ranked =3rd in the world, and including today I currently lead the World Cup (based on our prelim. calculations!)

After a recovery day yesterday with a couple of hours easy biking to the relay to spectate, I was feeling good for todays Sprint re-race. 

This time the race spent most time the forest, so I knew short cutting would be crucial. I also knew I have the speed to match the world's best now, so if everything went well, it could be another medal.

With my medal, bike and Orifix board!
On the start line I saw no other option to the first 3 controls apart from short cutting completely straight. Taking a bearing, on a bike, isn't the easiest skill to master so most bearings end up being very rough and direction is generally dictated by vegetation anyway. After nailing 1, 2 and then 3 controls, I caught Stengard my 1 min woman, and Rothweiler my 2 min woman. I decided to stay with them for a few controls and see if there came any chances to make a break. 

Annoyingly I got a leafy bramble plant wrapped around the lower gears, so I had hopping gears to contend with. It also meant I couldn't power through to maintain speed and I lost about 30 seconds over the next 5 controls to Stengard. Stopping to sort the problem when there are 4 of the world's best girls speeding through the forest wasn't an option. I just had to wait for the foliage to get bedded into my cassette so I could ride full speed again.

The route choice leg caught me out and I lost a minute here. I saw the right and left options but missed the middle choice. I started off the left and then changed to the middle half way. I would have lost a minute staying to the left choice anyway, so it was the plan change that cost me. Rather the lack of planning the early part of the leg. Stupid.
Another celebratory pic!

As I sped around the lake I could see Stengard and Rothweiler on the other side. Interestingly here my split times picked back up again and I was never far from the fastest time for the final half of the course. I lost the silver through one 'mistake'. And it wasn't even a mistake. A concentration lapse that I paid for. Big time.

Tomorrow is the long distance mass start. It's a race I've not focussed on all season, preferring to see what happens. There are a handful of really fast women, who can be slightly flakey at times with their nav, so it will be interesting to see how this race pans out. I can't wait to get head-to-head with the whole women's field and really see how the results go. I have the speed to get a result, it just depends on how well gaffled the courses are, and whether the athletes lower down the ranking list can hold their navigation together. I hope it doesn't turn into a XC course like we had some years ago.